EDUCATION: Shortfall will be evident

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Like many in Morpeth I read Labour Leader Grant Davey’s comments on school places with a degree of frustration.

Mr Davey says that, long-term, families outside the catchment area will lose out on school spaces as they will be filled by pupils living within the catchment. It is implied that there is no school places shortfall if this happens.

What he fails to say is that the out-of-catchment children, rightly, are afforded continuity in their education so take years to move through the first and middle schools before going to King Edward VI School.

The number of new homes with planning permission, more than 3,000 in the Morpeth catchment, means they will lead to a school places shortfall whilst children pass through the system.

Many of us see stories on social media of people horribly caught out by the situation. There are rumours others have had to cancel moving to the town because they cannot get a local school place.

It suggests that there has been no forward planning by the council on school places.

The Conservative Party has done a lot of work identifying this problem. Yet the council Chief Executive Steven Mason has said any correspondence from us seeking to help solve the problem will be “filed”.

Following May 4, I would like to assure Morpeth residents that any Conservative council will be taking that “file” out of the cabinet and putting it back on Mr Mason’s desk marked “For urgent attention”.

Richard Wearmouth

Conservative candidate for Kirkhill